PowerApps – Pros and Cons

powerapps-pros-cons

Microsoft PowerApps, a Powerful tool for simple solutions 

There are many things to consider when planning your solution and the system you are going to use to achieve it. PowerApps has been a solution AMT have been leveraging for several years now for different projects, some complex, some simple. Throughout our development we have learned several factors to consider when selecting PowerApps as a solution. 

PowerApps is a fantastic tool for simple projects. 

If you are wanting to create a quick solution to provide an attractive front end allowing users to interact with data stored in several different locations (think Excel, SQL, SharePoint, and others) then PowerApps is possibly your best option. 

Advantages of PowerApps 

  • Connecting to multiple different data sources is simple and the code to access those data sources is consistent. 
  • Easily integrates with SharePoint lists and can quickly allow you to modify the default Create/Edit list item screens. 
  • The language used to develop PowerApps is based on the functional language of Excel, so should be familiar to anyone with a good understanding of Excel based formulas. 
  • CSS / JavaScript / HTML are not required to make an app look good due to the WYSIWYG interface. 
  • Supports responsive behaviour so producing a mobile / desktop friendly app is relatively simple. 

Limitations and Disadvantages of PowerApps

  • The 500/2000 item limit for delegation can be a real issue for any application where larger amounts of data need to be filtered / loaded. Click here to find out more about counting beyond your delegation limit in PowerApps.
  • In larger apps that make use of multiple data sources, delegation warnings require a concerted effort and deeper understanding of how the data sources interact to circumvent. 
  • In more complicated apps, although you can nest galleries, doing so can create real performance issues. 
  • It is not possible to publish your apps to the Windows Store. 

A Simple Solution for Creating Apps

For clients who want to take ownership of an app once it has been created and do their own development on it, or for simple list-based applications, PowerApps is a very useful tool. It allows a new application to be created very quickly without much programming background. 

If, however, your application is going to extend over more than a couple of screens or be pulling large amounts of data from different data sources, there are many languages that will allow you far greater control over how that happens. 

One of the biggest pain points of dealing with PowerApps has been delegation warnings on large datasets, however there is a work around for this as mentioned above.

If you need a hand with understanding how PowerApps works, please contact our team. Our Introduction to PowerApps training course will get you started quickly, with little down time.